Hey there! *makes innocent puppy-eyes* So, I made it to your story, tadaa :D Sorry for the monumental wait, but I avoided HPFF for a while: don't like mixing fanfiction with filmschool stuff - it gets me all confused.
Speaking of confused! This one-shot. My goodness.
I sort of make it my business to provide critique, even to really good bits of work. But I'm nervous of saying anything here because, well, stream of consciousness is very far away from the Zone of Familiarity. I'm all full of advice in the Zone, but out of it, let's see...
I'll just start typing, maybe you can find something useful in my ramblings, too :P
First of all, the ending was a haunting and wretched idea. I loved it! And, I dare say I wish there was more of it. I know that this is a one-shot and that the mere fact of discovering what goes on between Tonks and Remus under the covers is an inspiring twist that ties everything together. But, in my opinion, more hints before could have magnified the blow significantly. In Tonk's POV, we have many details merge together, Voldy right next to a pop-song and all wrapped up with Remus. Thinking about the merits of chosing the pseudo-flow-of-consciousness style, I could imagine that throwing in a few more seemingly unconnected details or expressing an undercurrent of unease would be easier than with a more traditional narration. What I mean: If I were Tonks and I were to monitor my mind, Sirius would pop up there very often. Maybe something about shagginess, or roughness. Maybe she can notice details surroudning her with something about Sirius. Or maybe random imagery, like you did with the song, can pop up in her narrative before being pushed aside or explained away by her worries about Remus.
My next point is very closely related to what I just mentioned, but it IS different because it'sabout characterization. We discover about a deeply seated conflict that Tonks must deal with -Remus- and therefore also find out a lot about Tonks as a character. But then the revelation towards the end made me, personally, suddenly go back to square one concerning her emotional world. Remus is disappearing, yes, but her? What is happening to the girl that is forced to become someone else? I think more reflection on how she feels in the relationship would add a lot to the story. We know that she is driven by love, but where does she draw the line? Except causing her to obsess, what else is the relationship doing to her?
It appears to be that Tonks' part was inteded as exposition,and therefore it's more general. If that was your intention, ignore what I said. But since we seem to delve into Tonk's inner world quite a bit despite the fact-establishing role it has, maybe a few layers deeper would not harm the story? Or - and this is me spiralling out of control into speculationland - what if Tonks' part was written in a more distanced tone (behaviourist 3rd person narrator,even?) implying that something is tearing at her but refraining from delving into any depth? And THEN Remus' part would introduce us the the relationship. It would be kind of like peeling off layers. Then, you wouldn't have any issues with too many questions about each of the characters going unanswered, since the characters will not be Remus or Tonks individually. Instead, their love/relationship itself will be the character, so to say. I know I'm suggesting a major Perestroika of your entire story, so feel free to ignore it :P I just thought that the "zooming in" structure might help keep not only the characters' thoughts but also the readers' more focused.
Ok, I think that is enough critique now! I must repeat how much I love the idea itself. It's a perfect combination of cruel and sad that, in my experience, underlies any serious love-affair. The theme of breaking apart and becoming someone else fits wonderfully with this sort of view on relationships. I find that you discovered a poignant way of exploring this side of love, using Tonks' magical abilities as a way of maginfying the issue.
I also really enjoyed the "and when Sirius was here" paragraph and wouldn't change a thing about it except what I mentioned above. I think it works as a great breaking point and could do even better if you play around with Tonks' section of the story a bit and find a way to connect the two more :)
So,thank you for requesting this story! I can't express how much I enjoyed reading it and, subsequently, thinking about it as well. The result was, I'm afraid, this rather messy review, but I hope you can filter out some useful advice XD Oh, and if something is unclear, feel free to pm me:)
Author's Response: Hey~!
I'll admit, I've been avoiding this review. Not because it's a bad review, but because it's a really insightful and interesting etc. etc. etc. review which needs to be answered decently. Oh, dear.
I'm going to try to answer you paragraph by paragraph; I may not succeed.
I'm not sure what the relationship between Tonks and Sirius is because in OotP it's about as clear as mud... sure, they get on, but that's arguably because Tonks is just a generally likeable person. With Sirius' frustration and the inevitable after-effects of his imprisonment, I'm not sure how much of a real relationship he'd've built with Tonks. Considering that first part is set around a year or so after his death, I'm not sure how much she'd be thinking of it except in relation to the more complex and immediate problems of Voldemort and Remus. (Yeah, I really didn't think this one through, did I?)
I don't know how to fix the problem you've presented me, and it's been bugging me for ages, because I should be able to. From what we see in canon, there doesn't seem to be a line drawn when it comes to Remus - Tonks basically accommodates him as much as possible because she loves him and... that's basically it, really. She might have a fight with her mum and lose a few non-Order friends over marrying a known werewolf who's pushing forty and has got exactly zero job prospects, but that'd just serve to get her even more into Remus because she'd be isolated.
On speculationland: I can't just imply that there's something eating away at Tonks 'cause we've all read the books, the only time we see her upset is when she's after Remus, so it'd be a bit patronising to the reader. Apart from that, though, your idea for structure is actually pretty awesome (since I fail at structure so hard) so I might play around with it if I get the urge to rewrite this. Although the idea of writing behaviourist 3rd person scares me a bit, since then I'd need actual plot. As it is, I think it stands as a record of... I don't know... emotion? Character depth (hopefully)? Snapshots of an underwritten aspect of a ship? I don't know.
Aaaanyway. Thank you so much for your amazing review, because I don't think I've ever seen a review quite like it. You're an absolute star. :D